Robert Nathan Wilentz, the former Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, has been inducted (posthumously) into Legal Services of New Jersey’s Equal Justice Library and Archive Circle of Honor.
The Circle of Honor memorializes those whom have made extraordinary achievements in advancing equal justice. As the longest serving Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, Robert Wilentz served with great distinction from 1979-1996. He led the “Wilentz Court” in its issuance of pivotal rulings respecting the citizens’ rights to just treatment on everything from racial to sexual discrimination, that led to important changes in the State’s court system, as well as on the law and society as a whole. Chief Justice Wilentz’s groundbreaking decisions and authoritative opinions reveal the deep commitment to equality and fairness for which he was known. He passed away shortly after his retirement from the bench in 1996.
Prior to his 1979 appointment by Governor Brendan Byrne as Chief Justice, Robert Wilentz served as the managing partner in the law practice his father, David T. Wilentz, established in 1919, today known as Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A.
For over 50 years, Legal Services of New Jersey has provided legal assistance and greater justice for victims of discrimination and members of vulnerable populations. Legal Services of New Jersey produced the following commemorative video to honor Chief Justice Wilentz’s induction to the Archive Circle of Honor.